Is Travel Next in the Fight Over Who Profits From Native American Culture?

Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, AZ

Wigwam Motels, like this one in Holbrook, Ariz., were built starting in 1933 with lodgings resembling teepees. But the designer disliked that word, so he named them after another form of Native American housing. Credit Ash Ponders for The New York Times

From The New York Times: John Gunderman believed his vision for a campground with 70 tepees, 12 hogans and 43 Conestoga wagons in the Arizona desert off Route 66 would “invoke nostalgia that transcends to every generation.”

Others disagreed.

“We find the use of Indigenous/Native American culture for commercial profit to be extremely disturbing and dehumanizing toward us and our sovereign tribal relatives,” Sharon Doctor, the chairwoman of Coconino County’s Indigenous Peoples Advisory Council, wrote to the county board of supervisors about the proposed “Historic 2 Guns Luxury Glamping Resort.”

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Iconic Blue Angel statue, gracing a new Vegas perch, awaits a proper tribute

Blue Angel Motel Las Vegas

The Blue Angel Motel sign and statue are shown on Fremont Street near Charleston Boulevard, March 13, 2020. Wade Vandervort

From The Las Vegas Sun: While Robert Stoldal was a senior at Las Vegas High School in 1959, he recalls the trips he and his friends endeavored up and down Fremont Street, then a lively section of town.

Notable of those drives was the drive-in restaurant Blue Onion and the towering Blue Angel statue — an icon of the city that was restored and reinstated close to her original location by the city of Las Vegas in March 2020.

“There was some connection that a lot of the community had with that particular sculpture,” said Stoldal, chairman of the City of Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commission. “It was a signal to the community that everything is OK.”

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Fresno’s oldest theater was just gutted. Church cited for renovations on historic building

Hardy's Theater marquee, Fresno, CA

The Hardy’s Theatre on Van Ness Avenue in downtown Fresno. Darrell Wong Fresno Bee File

From The Fresno Bee: Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias was riding his bike down Van Ness Avenue when he noticed a chain link fence and what looked like construction happening at Hardy’s Theatre.

It was odd because the 104-year-old downtown theater is within the council district he represents and he hadn’t seen or heard about any planned renovations.

Neither had anyone else at the city.

When the District 3 councilmember was finally able to tour the building on Wednesday, it was with staff from city code enforcement and members of the planning and historical preservation committees. They discovered that large parts of the interior had been gutted.

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Classic Japanese Diner in Boyle Heights Could Receive Historic Designation

Otomisan Restaurant, LA

Otomisan, the last remaining Japanese restaurant in Boyle Heights. Paul Bailey/Flickr/Creative Commons

From LA Cultural Heritage Commission will vote on whether to recommend Otomisan restaurant in Boyle Heights to become a historic cultural monument later this week, reports Rafu Shimpo. The building is the home of the last remaining Japanese restaurant in the now predominantly Latino neighborhood, though in decades past the area had been an enclave for Jewish, Japanese, Mexican, Armenians, and other immigrants. The building was originally built by Ryohei Nishiyama in 1924, and operated as a Japanese grocery store and later a florist and barbershop. LA Conservancy says the vernacular building is “an excellent example of a 1920s streetcar commercial development” with a “cozy interior of three red button tufted booths and short counter with five stools.”

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A big birthday for the Big Duck

The Big Duck, Long Island

The Big Duck celebrated its 90th birthday July 31st. Photo: Diane Tucci

From RiverheadLocal: The Big Duck, the historic roadside icon on Flanders Road, celebrated its 90th birthday Saturday with an event hosted by Friends of the Big Duck, the stewardship organization of the surrounding property called Big Duck Ranch.

The 20-foot tall, wood-framed, concrete duck originally stood on a duck farm off West Main Street, where it was built in 1931 by duck farmer Martin Maurer, who used it to sell processed ducks and duck eggs.

The roadside icon became emblematic of duck farming on Long Island, where 100 duck farms once flourished. The region became famous for the Pekin ducks grown here.

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